There have been 4 played rounds in this competition! So finally it is time to list favorites for this season's edition.
Since Benitez doesn't lead Liverpool anymore, and most of Italians don't play defensively CL has became much more fun with more goals and attractive football! Only problem visible is that except Shaktar no one outside of top 5 european league can not make significant result! League is more and more looking as leagoue of rich, league of Russian oligarchs, Arabian sheiks... I was thinking about what player outside of teams playing in Champions League would be on my list of top 50 players in the world! Only Neymar crossed my mind, and this tells what UEFA made to other teams with great tradition... There is defiantly too much money paid to players, managers, and everybody arround football! But that is different topic! Lets proceed to teams analysis!
1. Intruders list
Teams who got in League by mistake (read Platini's rules in qualifications) and which let be honest don't belong here! Dinamo Zagreb, CFR Cluj, Nordsjaelland, Anderlecht, Dynamo Kyev and BATE are my picks! This team can maybe even win some match on counterattack... But their goal was to qualify, get millions from UEFA and suffer! For long time this is not League of true champions! If it would be, Arsenal wouldn't played it for long time... MAN UTD this season... Chelsea wouldn't won it last season! UEFA didn't wanted Champions, they wanted money... S what they did, league which puts a lot of rich, allows few weak ones (like mentioned above) to qualify, so they can say they gave chance to everybody! Teams above won't win CL! They don't even have chance to qualify from group, and will be useful for CR7 and Messi to practice shooting... Dynamo Kyev && Zagreb had luck to be in same group, so at least one of them proceeds into Europa League!
2. Teams who don't have chance to win competition, but can win few points
Ajax, AC Milan, Benfica, Arsenal, Braga, Celtic, Galatasaray, Juventus, Lille, Malaga, MAN UTD, MAN City, Montpellier, Olympiacos, Porto, Schalke, Spartak, Valencia and Zenit are my picks here! Here you can find respective names! Ajax, Benfica, Braga,Celtic, Galatasaray, Lille, Malaga Montpellier, Olympiacos, Porto, Schalke, Spartak, Valencia and Zenit won't win league but they can make damage to anyone! They are good teams, but in 2 games knockout they can not beat top teams! AC Milan is weak this season! They sold their best players! Arsenal with Wenger won't win this league NEVER! He is simply coach for youth squad, not manager! Juve still doesn't have team strong enough to compete with best ones! And MAN UTD and City... Even though no one normal would put them here I will... City has great team... But average manager! MAN UTD has great manager, but limited team... Especially defense which is not what they used to be!
3. Top Teams
One of those teams will do it!
Barcelona: You have Messi, Inesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Villa... Superstrong and probably they'll win it most likely! You can like or dislike their football, but they really dominate! Only minus is that Puyol isn't getting any younger, and he is important defensive link! Only teams who can play against them are in my opinion Real Madrid, maybe Bayern!
Bayern: Extremely strong team! Especially attacking part! Minus is defense where they have good players. Missing great players. I don't consider Boateng and Badstuber and Conteto good enough to put them in list of top 30 defenders! That was clearly visible in last season finals!
Chelsea: I think they are better then last year! They play better football, not so defensive! Hazard was great pick! They'll surely miss Drogba, but except missing him, in all other lines they are great!
BVB Dortmund: Great young team with great coach! They play great football, I see them like large surprise this season! After last season when they learned how to play with big boys, they could go all the way!
PSG: Example what bunch of money can do in one season! Their forte are Ancelloti and Ibrahimovic! They are quite strong, maybe midfield is a bit weaker, but with Zlatan in attack and Carlo as a coach, never say never!
Real Madrid: Great team, great coach! I don't see weak link! Next to Barcelona largest favorite to do it! If I've mentioned Carlo and Zlatan, Mouhrino and CR7 and you have all other, I can see them winning trophy!
Shaktar Donetsk: Well that is surprise for someone who doesn't know story about the team! It is owned by one of the richest Ukranians, and a lot of money invested in it! With great coach there for few years in a row! Few seasons ago they won Europa league! This season they sowed they can beat anyone! And since I've watched their games against Chelsea and Juve... Thay are strong... How strong we'll see! But could be "dark horse"! And they play fantastic!
That is it from me! Comment if you disagree! I will be more than happy to discuss on that topic!